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Microsoft announces Anniversary Update, ends Windows 7 ‘Pick-a-patch’ options

Microsoft have just announced the Windows 10 Anniversary Update for its Windows 10 mobile devices. Though it doesn’t have the same huge amount of features offered by the recent desktop update, it does include an improved Skype app, a camera shortcut and media controls for the lock screen as well as an enhanced settings menu and support for fingerprint readers. It’s thought that those with unlocked Windows 10 Mobile devices are more likely to get the update quickly. Device owners can check if the update is available for their phone by heading to their Settings menu and clicking on Phone update.

Cumulative updates for Windows 7 and 8.1 introduced

The company has also revealed that it will only be offering cumulative security updates for those still running Windows 7 and 8.1. Previously customers have had the opportunity to choose which patches they wish to apply but this is set to no longer be the case. The company said the decision was made to avoid “fragmentation”, with different machines having different sets of updates installed. Windows 10 users have always been provided with cumulative updates, having never been able to apply one patch whilst rejecting others. If you are in thinking about repairing your computer, you may be urged to move to Windows 10 if you have not done so already.

Bundled updates

Earlier this year, Microsoft did say that non-security bug fixes for systems running Windows 7 and 8.1 would start being provided in cumulative updates every month. However, the company did not say that this would be the case for security updates too. Those who receive updates through Windows Update will receive bundled security and non-security updates. Businesses receiving updates through the likes of WSUS or SCCM will be able to choose between combined updates or security-only fixes.

Thoughts of computing repair experts

Microsoft have described the cumulative updates as beneficial to customers, pointing out the reduction in scanning time as well as the lower number of updates, saying the new policy boosts the reliability of Windows. Some IT professionals and computer repair experts have expressed concern about Windows 10’s cumulative updates, saying they require the ability to delay or hide updates that could be deemed as unsafe, citing reduced functionality and the “blue screen of death” as negative side-effects of some hastily-issued updates. Some experts have suggested that Microsoft has moved to cumulative updates in order to entice users away from the older yet still popular Windows 7 and 8.1 systems. The first cumulative updates for Windows 7 and 8.1 are set to appear on October 11th.

A new VR platform

The software giant has also announced plans to bring what it calls “mixed reality” to every Windows PC. The functionality, called Windows Holographic, is set to be launched in 2017. Those wishing to experience it will need to purchase a Microsoft HoloLens headset. The system will offer multitasking as well as the capability of rotating 3D models. It will work with Intel NUC chips and provide Bluetooth mouse support. A new update laying the foundations for Window Holographic is set to be launched shortly, said Terry Myerson, the Executive Vice President at Microsoft Windows and Devices. Mr Myerson was speaking at the Intel Developer’s Forum. The new platform is a collaboration with Intel and is set to support that company’s forthcoming virtual reality headset Project Alloy.

Apple and Microsoft at war again?

The company has also hit the headlines for appearing to criticise Apple in a new ad showcasing Microsoft Surface. The ad comes a fortnight after Apple released its new “What’s a computer? Commercial, which shows consumers how the iPad Pro super tablet can act as a full-time replacement for a laptop. Microsoft’s new ad, “What’s a computer? Just ask Cortana” appears to be an angry response to the original commercial and features Cortana, the Windows 10 personal assistant talking to Apple’s Siri equivalent. Cortana tells Siri that the mere addition of a keyboard does not mean providing consumers with everything they need from a laptop. The company’s Surface 4 Pro has features including USB ports, full Windows 10 and office and various other features not found on the iPad Pro. Tensions between the two computing giants had appeared to have softened recently, but it seems the fierce rivalry is now set to play on.

SOURCES:

http://www.theverge.com/2016/8/16/12505858/microsoft-windows-10-mobile-anniversary-update-now-available
http://www.computerworld.com/article/3108380/windows-pcs/microsoft-to-end-decades-old-pick-a-patch-practice-in-windows-7.html
https://blogs.windows.com/windowsexperience/2016/08/16/windows-holographic-experience-available-for-mainstream-windows-10-pcs-next-year/

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